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Counting votes in Coahuila. Counting votes in Coahuila.

Anomalies charged in México state, Coahuila

Close election races produce calls for nullifying vote and recounts

Post-election tensions are rising in Coahuila as candidates allege anomalies in the governor’s election held Sunday, but the president of the state’s Electoral Institute says they do not constitute cause to annul the vote.

Preliminary results show Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) candidate Miguel Ángel Riquelme leading the National Action Party’s (PAN) Guillermo Anaya by a margin of 1.5% based on 72% of the vote.

But Anaya and four other candidates fronted a press conference in which they presented video evidence that they believe calls the impartiality of the election into doubt.

Some footage shows unsecured electoral packets arriving at counting stations having been previously opened while other videos demonstrate the alleged theft and destruction of ballot boxes.

Anaya has called for the election to be annulled.

National Electoral Institute president Lorenzo Córdova has also spoken out about the state’s counting of the preliminary results, admitting that they showed “atypical behavior.” Still, he remains confident that the counting system allows for scrutiny and analysis if problems are detected.

However, Gabriela de León Farías, who heads the state’s Electoral Institute, says she sees no reason to rescind the vote “because the principle of certainty has not been broken.”

“Nearly 93% of electoral packets have been recounted which gives a lot of certainty to this result,” she told the newspaper Reforma.

Meanwhile, the State of México is also facing controversy in the aftermath of its gubernatorial election.

Pedro Zamudio, the head of its Electoral Institute, the IIEM, has come under fire from IIEM councilors as well as the INE president for reducing the number of electoral packets that will be recounted.

The number of packets approved to be opened for recount by the IIEM was 3,189 despite the institute’s results system indicating there was cause to recount 5,204.

Counscilors have asked Zamudio to provide a report detailing his motives for the reduced recount across 45 districts.

“Why such a big difference?” one official asked. “If I remember correctly, that’s a reduction of 44%.”

Federal elections chief Córdova also questioned Zamudio’s actions.

“Maximum openings are advisable . . . if there is any kind of doubt they can and must be recounted. We’ve seen strange attitudes from some presidents of local organizations especially in the State of México.”

The leader of Morena, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has also called for a recount in the State of México after his candidate, Delfina Gómez, was beaten by the incumbent PRI in a close vote.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp), Animal Politico (sp)

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